NewBoCo celebrates its fifth year investing in Iowa’s entrepreneurial community by accepting four startups into the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s 2018 Spring Batch as well as the pilot team from its Social Good Accelerator program. Three of the teams, ActWorthy, Kho Labs, and CR Marketplace, were founded in Iowa, and the full cohort represents key Iowa industries such as health tech and ed tech and addresses Iowa issues about disaster preparation and developing tech talent. Following orientation week, the teams will have 13 weeks of structured curriculum and a year of facilitated mentoring and networking.
“While there’s a formal timebox on our program, we continue to work with our startups long after their time in the accelerator ends,” Accelerator Managing Director David Tominsky said. “Our most successful startups work closely with us years after they joined our portfolio.”
The 2018 Spring Batch will also include the pilot team for NewBoCo’s Social Good Accelerator program. GSI Works, a nonprofit using green infrastructure to combat flash flooding, will join the four other startups as a full member of the 2018 cohort, minus an investment from the ISA Fund. GSI Works will receive the same training and mentoring as all the other startups and will work to validate their business model as quickly as possible to increase their impact on Cedar Rapids’ neighborhoods.
“Nonprofits share many of the same needs that startups have: a strong financial model, understanding of their customers and users, a great leadership team, and a strong organizational culture,” NewBoCo Executive Director and COO Aaron Horn said. “GSI Works, with their connection to flood relief, is a perfect fit to be the pilot team in our Social Good Accelerator.”
Funds are still being raised to support the full Social Good Accelerator Program. United Way of East Central Iowa, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Transamerica Foundation, CRST Family Foundation, and the University of Iowa Credit Union are all supporters of the program, as well as several individual donors. Those interested in supporting this program can contact Kaitlin Byers, NewBoCo Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other updates in early 2018: The ISA Fund announced the first successful exit from its portfolio. LendEDU, a member of the inaugural 2014 cohort, exited the ISA Fund at a significant multiple from the original investment. As a privately held company, LendEDU’s financials remain private and exact amounts will not be released. The ISA Fund also provided a follow-on investment for Noviqu, a member of the 2017 ISA cohort. Noviqu, a software platform for safety, maintenance, and training processes in the manufacturing industry, is the latest ISA team to receive follow-on investment from the ISA Fund.
Applications for the Iowa Startup Accelerator’s Fall Batch are open until July 28th. Interested teams can apply today at https://gust.com/accelerators/iowa-startup-accelerator-2.
Spring Batch 2018 Teams
Team: Ross Katz, CEO; Matt Swan, Lead Front-End Developer
Location: Iowa City, IA
Short description: Social media for social change. For Citizens: A Netflix for Political Action. For Organizers: A Platform to Build a Movement.
Cedar Rapids Marketplace
Team: Cherie Edilson, Co-founder; Robert Edilson, Co-founder
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Short description: Online shopping and buy local now mean the same thing. Shop easily from many local small businesses at the same time on CedarRapidsMarketplace.com.
Team: Livio Bolzon, Co-founder; Will Goff, Graphic Designer; Chase Engelbrecht, Co-founder
Location: Chicago, IL
Short description: Codemoji.com makes it easy to bring coding into the classroom. Codemoji has helped 200,000+ students get started in coding to date.
Team: Ian Warner CEO & Founder; Declan Land, iOS engineer; Bryce Colston, Business Development
Location: Des Moines, IA
Short description: Kho connects injured athletes to local healthcare solutions.
GSI Works (Social Good Accelerator pilot team)
Team: Stacie Johnson, Director of HIRE Learning
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
Short description: GSI Works engineers prosperity in our urban core neighborhoods by investing in green infrastructure and connecting folks with employment barriers to those with the greatest likelihood of experiencing localized [flash] flooding.
About Iowa Startup Accelerator
Iowa Startup Accelerator is an intensive program that matches tech-based startups with world-class mentors, Midwestern work ethic, seed funding, and product development expertise to accelerate their business to a successful exit. Iowa Startup Accelerator is powered by NewBoCo, a 501(c)(3) organization.
The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) is a nonprofit with the mission to accelerate world-changing ideas, from Iowa. The organization aims to create impactful startup businesses that grow here through its Iowa Startup Accelerator program and more; to foster world-class technical and creative talent via innovative educational programs for kids and adults; to assist thriving, innovative companies in developing new products and attracting the best talent through corporate innovation programs; and to make an outstanding social impact and make the world a better place. Since 2014, the program has grown dramatically, helping hundreds of startups get off the ground and grow and thousands of children learn to code.